By Peter Della Penna
matches finished off pool play on day four of the American College
Cricket Spring Break Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. When the
dust cleared, South Florida, York University (Toronto), York College
(NY) and University of Maryland-Baltimore County emerged as the four
semifinalists who will battle for the tournament title inside the
stadium at Central Broward Regional Park.
On the satellite artificial wicket fields outside the stadium at
Central Broward Regional Park on Saturday, York College got things
started with a thrilling one-run victory over Boston University to
clinch the first semifinal spot, topping the table in the Northeast
Conference. York posted 137 for 6 in a solid all-round team effort
before they held BU to 136 for 9 in 20 overs. BU needed three off the
final ball for victory but could only manage a single.
UPenn knocked Rutgers out of contention for the semis, beating the
Scarlet Knights by four wickets. Rutgers won the toss and batted first
posting 154 in their 20 overs. UPenn chased it down with an over to
St. Cloud State won by 10 wickets in a romp over Ohio State. Ohio State
was bowled out for 107 in 19 overs and the total was never going to be
enough against the opening combination of Saminda Siriwardena and Pavan
Kumar Chakravarthy. Siriwardena played second fiddle today as the lefty
Chakravarthy hit five fours in his first five scoring shots on his way
to 59 not out.
In the second two Northeast Conference matches of the day, UPenn posted
152 for 8 against BU and then bowled out the Terriers for 132. Rutgers
ended a disappointing tournament on a good note with a victory over
NYU-Poly by 52 runs. Winning the toss and batting first, Rutgers posted
160 for 4 after former USA U-15 player Anvit Patel opened the innings
with 37 which was followed by 57 from Nalin Chopra. NYU-Poly was bowled
out for 108.
ACC SBC Day 4: Sadiq Naseer from Montgomery College from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
At Brian Piccolo Park, York University continued their domination of
the Northwest Conference by becoming the only team in the tournament to
sweep their pool. In their first game Saturday against College of
Wooster, York posted a phenomenal 208 for 7 in only 16 overs as Saad
Zafar scored 65 while Raza Rehman pitched in with 49. Wooster struggled
to compete against the stronger clubs in their pool all week and
Saturday was no different as they were bowled out for 66.
In York’s second game against Minnesota, the Golden Gophers posted 127
for 8 in 20 overs before York chased it down for the loss of five
wickets to book their spot in the semis. Khushro Wadia continued his
glorious form in the tournament with 75 not out for York and he will be
a strong contender for tournament MVP if York University goes on to the
In the two matches on the turf wicket at Brian Piccolo Park, University
of Miami (Fla.) put in a spirited fight against University of the West
Indies, but the Caribbean squad came out on top by four wickets in the
end. Miami clawed their way to 83 for 7 in 20. In reply, UWI lost a
wicket in the first over, but managed to keep moving along despite the
fall of wickets until they passed the target in 9.3 overs.
In the last match at Brian Piccolo Park’s turf wicket, UMBC kept George
Washington winless for the tournament. GWU posted 108 runs batting
first but made UMBC work hard for the runs as they crossed the line
with only two wickets to spare in the final over.
In the matches played in the stadium at Central Broward Regional Park,
Montgomery bested Auburn by six wickets. Auburn was bowled out for 113
as Montgomery passed the target with ease.
In a match to decide who would advance to the semis from the Southern
Conference, University of South Florida stunned Thunderbird School of
Global Management to win by 41 runs. USF only managed to post 124 for 6
in 20 overs, but Saisitaram Ramesh continued an excellent tournament
with the ball taking 4 for 8 to spark a Thunderbird collapse as they
were all out for 83 in 17.2 overs.
USF finished 2-1 in the group, including a crucial washout from their
scheduled match on Wednesday against University of the West Indies and
therefore split points from that game. UWI went undefeated in the
tournament but was not eligible for the semifinals. Thunderbird and USC
both finished 2-2. Had USF played UWI and presumably lost, USC would
have gone through to the semis.
In the final match of the day, one last spot was up for grabs in the
Mid-Atlantic Conference. Montgomery and George Mason both squared off
with 2-1 records while UMBC was finished at 3-1 and all three teams had
a chance to go through to the semis. George Mason grinded their way to
140 for 7 in 20 overs as the Patriots squad was aided by an abysmal
performance in the field by Montgomery.
“We probably gave them about 20-30 runs just by dropping catches,” said
Sadiq Naseer, Montgomery College vice captain. “We should really not
have dropped as many catches, but everyone has a bad day and that’s
what we had.”
George Mason them came out fighting hard in the field and turned in a
brilliant all-round fielding performance to heap pressure on the
defending tournament champions. Things got heated after the ninth
wicket fell when players and supporters in the traveling party with
Montgomery stormed the field as the sledging got out of hand in the
In the last few overs, Montgomery’s strategy changed from going for the
win to blocking out deliveries to survive the final overs. The target
was getting further out of reach and qualification for the semis seemed
slim. However, by not being bowled out, Montgomery would deny George
Mason the bonus point they needed to overtake UMBC on the conference
table. After a tense final over, the final ball was kept out by
Montgomery College. UMBC’s squad, which had made their way into the
stadium from Brian Piccolo Park, erupted in celebration knowing they
had qualified for final day on Sunday.
ACC SBC Day 4: Hashim Khan from George Mason from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
“That was not spirit of the game,” said Hashim Khan, George Mason
captain. “If you know that you weren’t making it by the 17th over, all
your tailenders are coming in, I think we should be having a good shot
at the championship because we were a very tough team in this
championship. We should be in the finals but again we lost to Auburn in
a pool game which is not exactly what we wanted. But we’re still happy
that we came and represented George Mason University.”
The first semifinal will take place between York University and South
Florida at 10 am from Central Broward Regional Park. The second
semifinal will follow at 1 pm between York College and UMBC. The
championship match is scheduled for 5 pm, but according to American
College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah, may be moved up to 4:30 based on
night time rain in the forecast for Fort Lauderdale. Dreamcricket.com
will provide live ball-by-ball coverage of the championship match.
[The day's matches will also be broadcast beginning 9AM on Sunday via a live webstream available at www.americancollegecricket.com]